Just who is spamming you and how?
June 27, 2002 7:19 PM   Subscribe

Just who is spamming you and how? Find out how they might have gotten your address using this map representing the network of spammers.
posted by srboisvert (11 comments total)
Strangely enough, most of the entities on that map are not connected to the kind of spam I receive. If anything, the (surprisingly large) map is a very small corner of the spammer universe.
posted by majick at 8:23 PM on June 27, 2002

That hurt my head.
posted by Wizzle at 9:18 PM on June 27, 2002

Ditto Wizzle.

Now all we need to do is have their personal e-mail addresses and we can see how they like receiving 50 or 100 "once in a lifetime offers" every day!
posted by dg at 9:32 PM on June 27, 2002

% I want a poster of that. %
posted by Succa at 9:51 PM on June 27, 2002

From the site

INCLUSION CRITERIA (added 3/24/2002) — Please note that criteria for inclusion on the Spamdemic Map are extremely broad... Domains, companies and even individuals are included there that have not spammed me.
In fact, to my knowledge, many of them haven't spammed anyone.

The purpose of the Spamdemic map is to show not only actual spammers' relationships, but also relationships among spammers and other entities — legitimate or otherwise — and to illustrate the
*potential* for abuse that can arise when and if irresponsible policies are followed — as when addresses are shared among mailers/marketers without the recipient's knowledge/permission, or when permission for mailing is not actually obtained through closed-loop opt-in confirmation. [emphasis mine]

So anyone here could possibly wind up on the chart. This statement brings the legitimacy of the chart into question.
posted by plemeljr at 10:27 PM on June 27, 2002

all i know is i just got literally 20 emails (w/ attachments) from a guy named matthew greenways, in the span of five minutes. that's just not cool. he could've at least been subtle about it and sent me one...
posted by lotsofno at 10:37 PM on June 27, 2002

that map is nuts! The pessimistic perspective [and visual interpretation] is that of a problem too deeply rooted to be destroyed- the sheer number of entities involved diffuses the burden of responsibility. It doesn't look like the problem will be solved soon.
posted by elphTeq at 5:35 AM on June 28, 2002

I have been using MailWasher to check mail before I download it. I bemoan having another app running, but it lets me delete the messages before they add to my Outlook file, and there is the option to have the e-mail bounce to make your address look invalid. (not a plug, I just like the app)
posted by adampsyche at 5:52 AM on June 28, 2002

...So anyone here could possibly wind up on the chart. This statement brings the legitimacy of the chart into question.

plemeljr: There are a lot of companies on the chart -- those that spammed are black, those that are simply connected to spammers or bulk mailing are in grey.

Thus, the chart is made more valuable by the inclusion of non-spammers, as it illustrates the fragility of your e-mail privacy. I would think twice about giving my address to a company which hasn't spammed, but who is heavily affiliated with spammers.
posted by VulcanMike at 6:31 AM on June 28, 2002

Here is where the greatest potential for abuse comes from. If any company, no matter how legitimate, has your e-mail address and permission to share it with anyone else you are doomed.

Once your e-mail address moves from Company A to Company B there is no mechanism in place that would prevent Company B from then selling that address to whoever they deemed fit - then its off to the races.

Also, be prepared for more and more of the following: Company C (who you trusted and gave your e-mail address to) goes out of business. There assets are sold to Company D - assets include e-mail addresses - done.

I know intimately of this flow of information - your best bet is to invest in a spam fighting solution - or simply never, ever use a real e-mail address.
posted by dhacker at 6:35 AM on June 28, 2002

The problem with Mailwasher is that it sanitises the problem. You don't see the spam, so you're not bothered, but that doesn't do anything to make spam go away. I've been using Bouncer, which allows you to see who you're sending a bounce back to. 95% of the spam which I've bounced has been sent via a spoofed address, and my bounce bounces right back. The spam is pernicious, growing in volume, and being generated illegally and the answer isn't to shunt it away and ignore it, but to work to find a means of shutting it down.
posted by Dreama at 9:42 AM on June 28, 2002

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